haibun
A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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September 2008, vol 4 no 3

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Jeffrey Harpeng



The Future

The future is not what it used to be. The man in the background, walking along the beach, is gone. I have cloned background to replace him digitally. Now there are only sky, waves and sand to the left behind my daughter. Her gaze is straight in to the camera, straight in to the future.

'Greetings! My big girl.'

Her Sophia, less than two months old, is cradled; her left arm on mum's left arm: armrest.

Ocean and a clear beach at their backs, as if the moment had been fenced off just for this small intimacy.

dark wisps of hair
the breeze holds for the photo
...the surf pauses

Sophia's right arm and small clenched hand rest upright against her small body, and, couched between mum's breasts, direct the gaze to a heart shaped silver locket her mother wears. "You still have that in your jewellery box, haven't you mum?" Sophia's, eyes are lightly closed, her head tilts to the left. Asleep, she looks toward that place where she learnt the small bird sounds she uttered while her birth was still wet in her hair.

The beach to the right is a walk to the headland in the Little Golden Book of birds where Sophia's mother found herself as a child. Plovers are illustrated over the headland. A child with wispy blonde hair watches.

bird song
in the infant voice...
& over the headland

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